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Figment of the Imagination: Jenny Slate Connects with “Aardvark”

Brian Shoaf‘s directorial debut might have found its second wind. After a failed Kickstarter attempt to drum up some coin with Adrien Grenier and Mamie Gummer toplining, now Variety reports that Jenny Slate is in negotiations to join Zachary Quinto on Aardvark. Susan Leber (Hello I Must Be Going), Neal Dodson (A Most Violent Year) and Quinto are producing. Filming is expected to begin this December in New York with supporting cast announcements likely in the works.

GistAardvark centers on Josh Norman, a man who has spent most of his adult life suffering from mental illness. While Josh rejects the labels that have been applied to him over the years, there is no question that he sees and hears things that aren’t there. Sometimes he’s well aware of this, but other times it’s not so clear. Josh’s most vivid hallucinations involve his estranged brother, Craig, a famous TV star….

Worth Noting: Quinto and Shoaf both acted in Victor Quinaz’s short, Periods. See trailer below. 

Do We Care?: Coming from short form and comedic background, both Shoaf and Quinto have their work cut out for them. As a sub-genre, mental illness of this sort (we’re thinking Lars and the Real Girl and/or Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter type) can be a difficult sell.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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